BSA206: Breathless

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard ❖ Released 1960 ❖ Part of the French New Wave movement

“A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.” [2]

For me, the most interesting, and perhaps the most engaging, aspect of this film was the way Patricia (played by Jean Seberg) seemed to care so little about every important piece of information that was thrown her way. She thought she might be pregnant to Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), but spoke of it like it hardly mattered, she was told that Michel is married, but isn’t worried, and shrugs off the fact the he is a murderer. Her character struck me as the stereo-typical teenage girl who believes the only thing that matters in life is whether or not you are in love to the point where Patricia betrays Michel only to figure out for herself if she actually loves him.

French New Wave films break free of the classical Hollywood film structure which was based on literature and theatre structures. Instead the directors of these films wanted to make the viewer think about what they were watching and connect it to their own lives, instead of having their hands held by a familiar story line and structure. [3Breathless, being a French New Wave film, doesn’t follow classical Hollywood structure, and I think the makes it even more enjoyable.



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